KMTS Basketball: Back at Full Strength, Glenwood Sweeps Palisade at Home

GLENWOOD SPRINGS (1/25/18) – “It felt really good to get back,” Glenwood Springs’ Tatum Peterson said after the Lady Demons avenged an earlier loss to Palisade, 48-23, in the senior’s return after missing five games with an injury.

“The ankle felt good,” Peterson said after she led all scorers with ten points and helped Glenwood(10-7, 5-2 WSL) vault past the Bulldogs (8-9, 4-2) into second place in the Western Slope League with Battle Mountain(7-8, 3-2)’s loss to Rifle (14-1, 6-0), 35-26.

The Glenwood boys(14-3, 7-0) won their eighth straight game, improving to 7-0 in league play by running out to a big lead, then surviving a late stumble, 51-38, over Palisade(4-12, 2-4)

GLENWOOD GIRLS 48, PALISADE 23

Glenwood lost its first two league games right after Christmas break, including a poor performance at Palisade, 39-26, where Peterson, who’d had three consecutive double-doubles (scoring and rebounding) prior to vacation, was held to just two points on one-for-six shooting. Then the Demons hung in there against the juggernaut that is Rifle (now, ten straight wins) as Peterson injured her ankle coming down awkwardly with a rebound half-way through the fourth quarter.

Though the 6-0 senior still leads the league in rebounds and blocked shots, despite the hiatus, and is third in scoring, Glenwood won its next four league games while Peterson was recovering, to climb out of the cellar and challenge for the second spot.

Palisade, which graduated nine seniors from last season’s 21-4 team, was 4-1, having lost only to Rifle, riding the shooting and rebounding of Anita Ramos, but she picked up two first-quarter fouls after the Bulldogs took an early 4-0 lead. With Emily Worline connecting on a pair of free throws and then splashing in a 3-pointer on a kick-out pass from Qwynn Massie, Glenwood gained the lead with 30 seconds left in the period. Peterson scored her first basket since January 9th, giving the Demons a 7-4 quarter’s edge. Both teams had ten turnovers apiece and combined to shoot 4-of-19, contributing to the low scoring output.

In the second quarter, the Glenwood defense, with Maddie Bolitho, Ashley Barrigan, and Ximena Gutierrez grabbing two steals each, continued to harass and suffocate the Bulldogs, who committed 19 turnovers and made just 4-of-20 shots in the first half. However, the Demons’ shooting didn’t improve much, with just a Bolitho jumper and Massie’s free throw to show for the first 6:30 of the quarter, Palisade moving ahead 11-10.

With 1:35 to go until halftime, Bolitho turned a steal into a layup, and Berrigan assisted on Ellie Moser’s three-pointer and a jumper by Dani DeCrow for an 8-0 finish to regain the lead, 17-11 at half.

Asked if coach Rhonda Moser threatened to take away their cellphones at halftime due to the poor first-half shooting performance, Peterson laughed and said, “No, but coach told us we needed to come out as hard as we could the second half and focus on getting the ball inside.”

The Demons got the message, with Peterson pouring in eight points in a 21-5 third period that finished off the Bulldogs, who shot 0-for-4 and had eight more turnovers. Meanwhile the Demons had just nine miscues in the final three quarters, and with Moser getting two assists to Peterson, Bolitho and DeCrow finding their senior post also, Glenwood ran off the first nine points of the second half. Palisade hit two of four free throws, then the Demons scored another six straight for a 38-16 lead going to the final frame.

Moser, who was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, scored nine, with Bolitho and Gutierrez, who also had 7 steals, adding six each. Barrigan did a little of everything, giving the Demons a spark when needed with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Coach Moser experimented briefly with her two ‘bigs,’ Peterson and Massie, on the floor at the same time, and they combined for 11 rebounds. Ramos, the league’s fifth leading scorer at 10 a game, was held to five points on 1-of-4 shooting with 7 rebounds.

GLENWOOD BOYS 51, PALISADE 38

In their first matchup in Palisade, the Glenwood boys struggled to put away the Bulldogs, who hung close on the 3-point shooting of Logan Tarman until a 21-10 fourth quarter settled the 55-34 win. No such problem this time, as the Demons sizzled from the beginning, hitting 5-of-6 shots inside and out and running off a 10-0 stretch to lead 13-2 with two minutes left in the first quarter. In addition, Glenwood’s tenacious man-to-man defense forced 18 turnovers and held Palisade to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters for a commanding 40-21 lead.

Coach Cory Hitchcock admitted earlier this season that taking the air out of the ball, slowing down the offense to use up the clock when comfortably ahead, “isn’t our style,” and the Demons reinforced that belief, shooting just 6 of 20 after taking a 31-14 halftime lead.

Glenwood built that lead on ten first-half points from AJ Crowley and 6-of-10 shooting from downtown, Aaron Smith, Wyatt Ewer, Chano Gonzalez, and Angel Garcia each hitting a 3-pointer in addition to Crowley’s pair.

The Demon passing was on target also with Smith registering two assists for layups in the early 10-0 run (capped by his 3-pointer), and three more in the 11-0 second-quarter surge. Gonzalez was equally opportune with the ball, handing out four first-half assists.

Glenwood tried to slow things down a little in the third quarter, which resulted in a one-for-seven shooting lapse, but the defense never relented, allowing only a pair of put-backs by the Bulldogs’ 6-8 Zane Haas during that stretch. Ewer’s five points in the final minute helped the Demons eek out a 9-7 quarter advantage for a 19 point lead.

The fourth quarter saw Glenwood inexplicably send Palisade to the line 14 times, where the ‘Dogs made 10, led by 7-of-8 from Haas and Kevin Loya. As the Bulldog run, which eventually reached 11-0, cut the Demon lead to nine, 42-33 with 2:47 to play, Hitchcock sent his starters back into the game.

Glenwood continued to foul, and the lead shrank to seven, but a pair of free throws by Smith and his 3-point play on an inbounds pass from Angel Garcia held off the Bulldog charge.

Crowley led the Demons with 12 points; Smith, who also dished 8 assists, scored 8 as did Ewer. Holden Kleager had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, and did a solid defensive job on the taller Haas, who wound up with 14 points (on 5-of-14 shooting) and 14 rebounds.

Glenwood’s next game is a non-league one at Grand Junction Central before resuming WSL play at Eagle Valley, Thursday, February 1st.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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